African startups invited to apply for Dubai fintech programme

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African startups have been invited to apply for the Fintech Hive at DIFC, a Dubai-based programme that looks to bridge the gaps between innovative entrepreneurs and financial industry giants.

Fintech Hive at DIFC, which launched for the first time last year, is an initiative of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in partnership with leading global professional services company Accenture.

It is targeting startups from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia region, and this year has expanded its scope to include insurtech, as well as Islamic finance and regulatory technology solutions.

Participating financial institutions and insurance companies will ideate, collaborate and partner with startups in a wide-ranging 12-week mentorship and networking programme.

“As Fintech continues to be a game-changer for the financial services industry, nurturing innovative talent is a fundamental priority because of the immense benefits it brings to the economy and society,” said Raja Al Mazrouei, executive vice president of Fintech Hive at DIFC.

“By connecting innovators in financial services technology with the banks, financial institutions and service providers, we are providing a world-class platform to develop solutions that meet the specific needs of, and address the challenges faced in, the region.”

The initial selection of programme participants will be based on maturity, life stage, market traction and financing profiles. Applicants will need to have a well-defined prototype or service implemented in at least one market and be looking to expand.

This year’s programme will start on September 4 and culminate with an investor day later in the year, when up to 10 participants will present their solutions to an audience of venture capitalists and financial industry executives. Applications close on June 24.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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